Prevue March-April 2014 - (Page 12)
The Future of Meetings
Marriott is aggressively repositioning its brands with numerous initiatives
ver the last year, there's been a corporate-wide
revolution at Marriott Hotels revolving around a series
of forward-thinking initiatives. It began with the launch
of the Innovation Lab in early 2013 at the Bethesda, Maryland,
headquarters, where Marriott brings together designers and
clients to test out new product design and functionality.
That was followed by the new Travel Brilliantly website,
which prompted over 700 U.S. travelers to submit ideas about
product enhancements. Travel Brilliantly's success inspired
a February relaunch by Marriott, with plans to expand it into
Europe. The brand's new vision is tagged simply as "The Future
of Travel." Late last year, that was reworked for the MICE trade
into "The Future of Meetings," integrating new digital tools and
meeting product designed for the next generation planner.
First, Marriott introduced the Red Coat Direct meetings app
that allows planners to connect with hotel staff in real time on any
mobile device. Planners can adjust any component of any event
on the ﬂy and receive instant feedback from CSM staff.
In an effort to maximize usage of its meeting space, Marriott
collaborated with LiquidSpace to create Workspace on Demand.
These are meeting areas with ﬂexible furniture, digital/tactile
business tools and F&B service that are bookable for short term,
Following that, the new Meetings Imagined website
launched in January. The portal's most unique characteristic is
its "Inspiration Gallery" with sample photos of all of the different
components that go into destination meetings. Much like a
bridet-to-be who creates customized inspiration boards of
wedding-themed photos on Pinterest, planners log in and "heart"
speciﬁc photographs to save them in personalized sets.
Planners can then email an entire set of collected F&B
options to a client or senior executive for feedback. Or they can
send the set to the CSM at any participating Marriott property,
asking if that hotel has something similar.
"Marriott Hotels is on a transformational journey that will
enable our guests to travel brilliantly," says Paul Cahill, senior
VP of brand management for Marriott. "While others may focus
on just meeting logistics, Meetings Imagined infuses a more
sophisticated approach based on objectives and outcomes."
All of the new Marriott programs apply to the Renaissance
sister brand, which has been developing REN Meetings, its own
brand-speciﬁc program over the last year. It incorporates the
ongoing RLife LIVE events at all of the hotels, ranging from live
concerts in the lobby to cooking demos and mixology lessons.
With enough notice, the hotels can integrate groups into those
experiences by adapting the location or moving the event to a
"We're ﬁnding that planners love that because it enhances
their program and adds another networking experience," says
David Keamy, senior director, sales/marketing at Renaissance
Hotels. "Especially for incentive-type meetings, that can be very
valuable for groups to interact in a new and natural way."
As with everyone else in the MICE industry, Millennials are
driving the evolution.
"Really, there has been little that's changed to make
meetings more stimulating to Gen X/Y, or Millennials," says
Keamy. "So these are some key initiatives that really speak to
how we're changing the overall meeting experience."
The motivation behind all of this is ﬁnding better ways to
engage the Connected Generation, where spontaneous personal
relationships are paramount.
As Keamy suggests, "Meetings don't begin with tables and
chairs today. They begin with people." - Greg Oates
"Marriott Hotels is on a transformational journey that will enable our
guests to travel brilliantly."
12 | prevue magazine
2/28/14 3:14 PM
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue March-April 2014
Planner's Pick: Dallas
Fresh Meets: Marriott Hotels
Bureau Buzz: Montreal
Good Business: Sandals Foundation
Sea Shores: State of the Cruise Industry
Incentives, Golf + Spa
Special Section: California
On Location: Loews Don CeSar St. Pete
On Location: Chic Outlets
On Location: New Zealand
On Location: Los Cabos
On Location: Scottsdale
On Location: Aruba Hyatt Regency
On Location: Dolce Silverado
On Location: St. Croix
On Location: Hilton Bomonti Turkey
On Location: Aruba Marriott
Checkout: Conrad Pune, India
Meetings, incentives and Corporate Events, Club Med 2014 Edition
Prevue March-April 2014